“In doing what is necessary you sometimes end up doing the impossible.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo
When people ask me what I do for a living, and I tell them I’m a writer, one of the first things they like to tell me is a story about how they “can’t write.” They speak to me about writing as if it is something you’re born with, like luscious curls, and loudly lament the fact that they were not.
I’m not sure what the purpose of telling me this is, but it comes off as if they’re making excuses for themselves.
Anyone who’s read even a lick of writing advice knows nobody is born a writer. To become a good writer, you have to practice every day, tirelessly, for as long as you live. You can’t stop because you have an article go viral, or a book you wrote becomes a bestseller. You can only stop when you die. …
The human mind is basically a giant network.
In our minds, we know individual things. These are the nodes of our network. Then, we connect each thing we know to an uncountable amount of other things we know. Each node has thousands of connections to other nodes, forming millions of connections. All of these nodes, and the connections between them, form a network of all the things we know — our knowledge network.
If you’ve ever let your mind wander, moving from one thought to the next in an idle way, you’ve taken a joyride down your own knowledge network.
Most of the time, our knowledge network grows organically. …
At the beginning of life, we are all like stem cells.
In biology, a stem cell is an undifferentiated kind of cell. It can become a muscle cell, a neural cell, a kidney cell, a liver cell, or any other kind of cell.
But until a stem cell becomes a specialized cell, it doesn’t do anything for the body. Stem cells are only useful to the body once they become something in particular.
Like a stem cell, a child’s life is pure possibility.
A five-year-old can become anything, from a drug addict to a nurse to the President of the United States. …